Lesson 2: Ratios and Rates With Fractions

Let’s calculate some rates with fractions.

2.1: Number Talk: Division

Find each quotient mentally.





2.2: A Train is Traveling at . . .

A train is traveling at a constant speed and goes 7.5 kilometers in 6 minutes. At that rate:

  1. How far does the train go in 1 minute?
  2. How far does the train go in 100 minutes?

Freight train Copyright Owner: hpgruesen License: Public Domain Via: Pixabay


2.3: Comparing Running Speeds

Lin ran $2 \frac34$ miles in $\frac25$ of an hour. Noah ran $8 \frac23$ miles in $\frac43$ of an hour.

  1. Pick one of the questions that was displayed, but don’t tell anyone which question you picked. Find the answer to the question.
  2. When you and your partner are both done, share the answer you got (do not share the question) and ask your partner to guess which question you answered. If your partner can’t guess, explain the process you used to answer the question.
  3. Switch with your partner and take a turn guessing the question that your partner answered.

2.4: Scaling the Mona Lisa

In real life, the Mona Lisa measures $2 \frac12$ feet by $1 \frac34$ feet. A company that makes office supplies wants to print a scaled copy of the Mona Lisa on the cover of a notebook that measures 11 inches by 9 inches.

The applet is here to help you experiment with the situation. (It won't solve the problems for you.) Use the sliders to scale the image and drag the red circle to place it on the book. Measure the side lengths with the Distance or Length tool. 

GeoGebra Applet j8B9vZKV

  1. What size should they use for the scaled copy of the Mona Lisa on the notebook cover?

  2. What is the scale factor from the real painting to its copy on the notebook cover?

  3. Discuss your thinking with your partner. Did you use the same scale factor? If not, is one more reasonable than the other?


There are 12 inches in a foot, so we can say that for every 1 foot, there are 12 inches, or the ratio of feet to inches is $1:12$. We can find the unit rates by dividing the numbers in the ratio:

$1\div 12 = \frac{1}{12}$
so there is $\frac{1}{12}$ foot per inch.

$12 \div 1 = 12$
so there are 12 inches per foot.

The numbers in a ratio can be fractions, and we calculate the unit rates the same way: by dividing the numbers in the ratio. For example, if someone runs $\frac34$ mile in $\frac{11}{2}$ minutes, the ratio of minutes to miles is $\frac{11}{2}:\frac34$.

$ \frac{11}{2} \div \frac34 = \frac{22}{3}$, so the person’s
pace is $\frac{22}{3}$ minutes per mile.

$ \frac34 \div \frac{11}{2} = \frac{3}{22}$, so the person’s
speed is $\frac{3}{22}$ miles per minute.

Practice Problems ▶